New grants program to boost local festivals and events calendar
Published on 20 March 2023
Grants of up to $10,000 are now available to support local enterprises stage free festivals and events in the City of Maribyrnong until mid-2023, helping cement our municipality as the Festival City and a 'go-to' destination for hospitality and entertainment, distinct from elsewhere in Melbourne.
The launch of the ‘Love Your West’ Grants Program provides opportunity for residents and visitors alike to enjoy more local festivals and events than ever before, showcasing the rich cultural diversity of our community.
There are two grant streams available: Place-based Initiative Grants for small to medium scale place-based activities that creatively activate public spaces, business precincts and local neighbourhoods; and Night Time Diversification Grants for night time activities that will enhance the reach of Maribyrnong’s night time attractions and contribute to the City’s reputation as a night time destination of choice.
The initiative forms part of Council's recently adopted Maribyrnong Festivals and Activation Framework 2022 – 2026, devised in response to the changing landscape around festivals and events due to the pandemic and our City's rapid growth.
The previous 'Festival City' Policy—initially developed in 2010—had predominantly supported large-scale, single-day festivals in main streets or parks. In contrast, the new Framework also provides for smaller public events driven by our local community, which can be staged more regularly and within shorter timeframes.
The broadened strategic focus followed conversations with the community and industry who indicated an appetite for more localised, authentic and contemporary events, especially those held after work hours to kick-start a robust night-time economy in the municipality.
Last year more than 150,000 people gathered at local festivals and events, helping the community reconnect and businesses recover after the challenges of pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions.
Mayor, Councillor Sarah Carter is looking forward to seeing many more local festivals and events on the local social calendar thanks to the new grants program.
“For over a decade, Maribyrnong has built its reputation as a 'Festival City' with several popular public events such as Yarraville Festival, Lunar New Year events, Eat Drink Westside, New Year's Eve Fireworks, and many more.
The launch of the Love Your West grants program demonstrates Council’s commitment to continuing to support economically robust, socially inclusive and culturally rich events, regardless of scale, that will contribute to the growth of our diverse city.”
For more information about the Love Your West grants program, including how to apply for a grant, please visit: www.maribyrnong.vic.gov.au/Community/Community-programs-and-grants/Grants-and-festival-funding
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